Closing Talk on August 9—Susan DeMay, “Making and Teaching Ceramics: Not Just for Fun”

Susan DeMay, “Making and Teaching Ceramics: Not Just for Fun”

August 9 at 5:00pm
Artist Talk with Q&A, Reception to follow
Cohen Memorial Hall, room 203
1220 21st Avenue South

Susan DeMay began pursuing ceramics as a graduate student at what was then called the George Peabody College for Teachers, where she studied art from 1977 to 1979. After earning her M.S. degree and establishing a pottery studio of her own, she was invited to return to the Vanderbilt campus to teach. Nearly forty years later, she will be celebrating her retirement as a professor in Vanderbilt’s Department of Art. This exhibition surveys ceramics DeMay produced over decades of teaching, running her own production line, and creating artwork in clay.

From June 13–September 9, 2019, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery presents Susan DeMay, “Divergent Practices: A Career in Ceramics,” an exhibition showcasing selections from three bodies of work that DeMay has developed over the years. The first are pieces made for classroom demonstrations, which underscore technical methods as well as aesthetic considerations. The second group represents the colorful production works that DeMay fabricated while running a pottery business, with the help of up to nine assistants. The third includes a suite of ceramics that are slab-constructed forms with unique surface treatments and hard, glassy glazes. These artworks are inspired by a wide-ranging set of visual references, as well as traditional ceramic practices.

At this artist talk, DeMay will discuss her work and life, expanding on why making and teaching ceramics were not “just for fun”—a phrase she encountered often in her long and multifaceted career.

Kinchi Fukumoto, Susan trimming a bowl in her studio at Peabody College, 35mm slide (reproduction), 1978.


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